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Marriage al fresco – the out-of-touch Tories’ latest trivial pursuit


Today’s Tory party, supposedly the party of family and home, have taken just about every action possible to reduce the status of the traditional family composed of a married mother and father and children. The family which not only stays together but holds society together.

But Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond has a cunning plan to make up for that and make marriage more attractive. He wants to make it possible to get married outdoors.

That should make up for obliterating the status of marriage with civil partnerships and same-sex marriage. Don’t worry about losing tax breaks, Spreadsheet Phil reckons that if the cost of a wedding can be reduced by having it outdoors without the necessity of hiring a venue, more couples will get married.

In Scotland it has always been possible to marry anywhere as long as the minister and landowner/landlord agreed. This has been for ecclesiastical and traditional reasons and hasn’t made the institution of marriage any more attractive.

The average wedding in the UK costs £30,355, according to Bridebook’s National Wedding Survey 2018.

It is possible to cut costs, but even when we exclude items such as videographers and entertainment for the reception, the average spend on what many would consider a bare bones UK wedding is still £17,913.

Is the option of having a wedding in a tent – no one wants to bank on sunshine in a British summer – going to make marriage a better bet than just shacking up and avoiding the cost altogether?

Philip Hammond is Chancellor of the Exchequer, and one would hope he is a master of economics and juggling budgets. He shows, however, that like the rest of his party he is seriously out of touch with how ordinary people live.

How typical of the Tories. When do they try to promote marriage they get it wrong – they just trivialise it.

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Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack
Dr Campbell Campbell-Jack
Campbell is a retired Presbyterian minister who lives in Stirlingshire. He blogs at A Grain of Sand.

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